We are in a global environmental crisis.
Jewish tradition compels us to respond.
What is teshuva?
From the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul through the last day of Sukkot, we turn inward and reflect on how we can strive to be our best selves in the coming year.
Teshuva can be translated as repentance, return, answer, self-actualization, and/or lifting your inner voice for good. It is about reconnecting and reaffirming one’s commitment to living a healthy and good life.
What is environmental teshuva?
Environmental teshuva is the outward manifestation of our commitment to doing better for the planet. As you examine your individual impact on the planet, consider:
- How do you relate to the planet or the climate crisis?
- Which of your behaviors do you know are less than ideal?
- What are one or two areas in the coming year in which you will commit to try to do better?
In August 2019, Hazon had four video billboards displayed in Times Square. We debuted the message “5780: The Year of Environmental Teshvua.” Watch the video.
This is a crucial time for climate action. Climate Week, the Global Climate Strike, and the Jewish holidays all converge in the coming weeks.Calendar of Events
We Are the Weather
Hazon is creating a discussion guide for Jewish communities to accompany Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest book, which focuses on climate change.We Are The Weather
Join and support Hazon’s work with sustainability tips, Jewish source texts, and divrei torah.
Rosh Chodesh Elul / Rosh Hashanah LeBehemot
September 6 – 8
Food Waste Weekend
High Holiday Sermon Swap & Learning Webinar
We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer is published
Global Climate Strike March
Community Wide Musical Havdalah for Planet Earth (NYC)
September 20 – 29:
September 27 – 29
Reducetarian Summit (Washington DC)
September 27 – 29
Character Day (Tech Shabbat)
Sept. 27-29: Join us at Isabella Freedman for Shabbat Elul, the final Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah
Sept 29 – Oct 1
October 8 – 9
October 13 – 22
October 20 – 22
Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
Oct 13-22: Join us at Isabella Freedman for Sukkahfest
Parshat Noach / The Flood Story
We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer
We are reaching a tipping point of sorts – not only in terms of extreme weather events – but also in relation to people’s consciousness of them. A growing number of people in the Jewish community – and Hazon as an organization – feel strongly that we ought to be “doing something” about this. Hazon is here to catalyze and support Jewish institutions and Jewish leaders, as Jewish tradition compels us to respond to this crisis.
We enthusiastically encourage you to read We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer. It is a superb, readable, and very Jewish explication of how and why and in what ways our food choices matter. We Are the Weather will be released on September 17th. Hazon is creating a discussion guide for Jewish communities to accompany the book that will be available later in September.
Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know. Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response?
In We Are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer explores the central global dilemma of our time in a surprising, deeply personal, and urgent new way. The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves—with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat—and don’t eat—for breakfast.
If you’re interested in hosting a book group or other program related to We Are the Weather, or anything at the intersection of Judaism, food, and climate, contact Becky O’Brien, Hazon’s Director of Food & Climate, firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the things that has made me most proud of being Jewish is our people’s emphasis on action. More than our thoughts and our feelings, we are defined by our choices… We must not be content with words. We must change our behaviors, as individuals and as a community.
Learn Where Your Food Comes From
Most people have some sense that food is central to Jewish life and Jewish tradition, but they’re far less aware that individual food choices are among the top anthropogenic drivers of climate change. Hazon has compiled these resources for you to make educated food choices.
Join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability
The Hazon Seal of Sustainability is an annual program that provides guidance and support to advance sustainability-related education, action, and advocacy in your Jewish institution, organization, and community. Rooted in Jewish tradition, participation in the Hazon Seal program will, over time, make your community healthier and more sustainable, both Jewishly and environmentally!
Sermons and Divrei Torah
We are collecting copies of sermons and divrei Torah which focus on Environmental Teshuva. If you would like us to share your words, please email Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein.
- “Let This Be Your Legacy” – Rabbi Carl Perkins, Temple Aliyah, Needham, MA